The gala premiere took place at the National Opera in Warsaw.
The name of the feature film is a reference to Smolensk, in western Russia, the site of the crash on 10 April 2010, of the Polish government plane with 96 people on board, including President Lech Kaczyński, the First Lady and high-ranking political and military leaders.
Directed by veteran filmmaker Antoni Krauze, the feature looks at the event through the eyes of an investigative journalist with a large commercial television station who is trying to probe into all the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.
The premiere was attended by President Andrzej Duda and the chairman of the ruling Law and Justice party Jarosław Kaczyński, the twin brother of President Lech Kaczyński.
Director Antoni Krauze has said in several interviews that an attempt to make a film about the Smolensk tragedy – in his view the most tragic event in Polish history since World War Two – was for him not only a great challenge but also a civic duty of an artist.
He stressed that it was his hope that all Poles, irrespective of their political views, would accept the fact that the search for truth about the causes of the Smolensk catastrophe is their common task.
According to a survey by the CBOS Institute conducted last April, the 6th anniversary of the crash, Poles continue to be divided in their views on the outcome of the investigation into the causes of the tragedy.
According to 29 percent of Poles all of its circumstances have been fully explained. Thirty percent claim that further investigation is needed, while a further 30 percent of the respondents believe that no explanation has in fact been presented so far.
The screenplay of “Smoleńsk” is by Tomasz Łysiak, Antoni Krauze, Maciej Pawlicki (also the film’s producer) and Marcin Wolski.
Lech Łotocki, appears as President Lech Kaczyński and Ewa Dałkowska, as the First Lady. Music is by Michał Lorenc, one of Poland’s leading composers of film soundtracks. The film goes on general release on Friday and will have a special screening at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia on 21 September.
Antoni Krauze’s credentials include “Black Thursday”, a feature focusing on the tragic events in the Baltic ports in December 1970, during which, according to official data, 44 people were killed and over 1,160 wounded after the communist police opened fire on the demonstrators protesting against a series of sudden price increases. (mk/rg)